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Probate court rules on guardianship of aging couple

One of the comforts towards the end of a long career is knowing that your family will be able to benefit from the fruits of hard work and smart investments. In return, we often expect our younger family will be interested in helping plan or manage our care later in life.

Many people include instructions in their estate planning for how to react to their possible loss of ability to manage financial or business affairs. Documents approved by probate courts in Michigan can appoint conservators, who can act as proxies with personal and business matters. This is a good idea because courts often have to use their own judgment without instructions.

A family is celebrating a victory in probate court in Macomb County after they were awarded guardianship of their aging relatives. The successful petitioner argued that her father and stepmother should be returned to her care after their diagnosis with dementia.

The couple had previously been in the guardianship of a company that had subcontracted their care to another company with the same owner. The daughter argued that this is not allowed through Michigan probate law. The company had also taken allegedly suspicious actions, such as building a privacy fence around the couple's home.

Legal representation is often advisable for people who are facing a possible hearing in probate court over the care of a relative or the disposition of an inheritance. Petitioners may have a greater chance of success with the counsel of an attorney who can help understand the details of Michigan probate laws that apply to specific cases.

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